Gracious Living in the New Year with Julie Ryan

 Set a welcoming tone for the arrival of family and friends with an all-season DIY wreath.

By Julie Ryan

As I thought of what to share for Southern Lady’s “Gracious Living in the New Year” series, I realized that this theme describes what I’ve been writing about on my blog, Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss, for over seven years now. Gracious living, by its very definition, has to do with our relationships with the people in our lives, and our homes are our most fitting places to live out those practices.

Whether I’m decorating, crafting, trying a new recipe, or planning a party, I always find it more meaningful when I’m considering the people that will be enjoying the results with me. I believe there is a seed of creativity in all of us, and when we cultivate it in efforts to bless others with it, we’re often the ones who end up being blessed the most. When we live in the spirit of graciousness, the true heart behind our efforts is what people see. Grace leaves room for imperfections (both in ourselves and in others) and opens the door for people to feel welcome in our presence.

Since homes have a way of taking on the personalities of the people who occupy them, gracious people tend to have the most welcoming homes! That’s definitely the personality I want my house to have, starting with the front door. I love a welcoming front entry, and one of the ways I try to accomplish that is to always have a wreath on my door. My favorite all-season green wreath is a DIY project I’ve shared a few times on my blog. Here’s the easy how-to:

Gracious Living in the New Year with Julie Ryan

The only supplies you’ll need are a grapevine wreath and some faux greenery. I like to use the “bushes,” as they are called in craft stores. You’ll need two or three bushes, depending on how full you’d like your wreath to be. No gluing, no wiring, and no special skills are required for this—just a basic pair of wire cutters, which you’ll use to cut the greenery stems apart.

Once the stems are cut, stick them into the wreath, going in the same direction all around, overlapping as you go. Make sure each stem is stuck in just far enough to securely hold it in place. When all of the stems are inserted, take a look at it to make sure there are no gaps. Rearrange if necessary.

Gracious Living in the New Year with Julie Ryan
And that’s all there is to this classic wreath! You can keep it like this all year or add flowers or picks to change it up for each season. If you ever want to take it apart and start over, that’s easy too. This wreath is very forgiving and easy to work with; and yet, it makes a warm, welcoming statement for your home’s entry.


I’ve had the privilege to be influenced by a few people in my life who have overflowed with grace, and their homes were lovely extensions of them. I hope my home and life will influence others just like that in 2017, and always. How about you?